Tampa’s Unstoppable Force: A Talk w/ Big Kaino (Interview)

Big Kaino is something special. Originally from Savannah, Georgia he has now made the city of Tampa, Florida his home. He’s been on the rise ever since. The 23-year old rockstar has been causing mayhem ever since he stepped on scene. Dropping atomic bomb records like “Asshole” and his newly released single “Ride Around” with producer ChaseTheMoney shows he’s a non-stopping force. He makes hardcore head banging music that he likes to call “music for winners” that resembles Chicago’s drill music mixed with Florida aesthetics of sound. His music is striking and defiant with a hint of a not giving a fuck mentality, and it shows within his personality as well. In a short amount of time he’s made himself as an artist that’s adaptive and who wants to always continuously grow.

The Tampa artist sits down with us to discuss his come up as an artist, his upcoming album that he’s currently working, his favorite video games and more.

Coming all the way from Savannah Georgia, what made you move all the way to Tampa Florida?

“I have family down here and my mom wanted to move down here.”

How do you meet up with Keem & Kenna?

I met up Keem by talking shit on Twitter one day. This was the day after I got back from Def Jam. I felt that people were turning a blind eye on me, so I went and just started talking my shit. So Keem didn’t really believe in me but he then did some extra research on me. Moments later he was like” naw you go crazy”. We then met up the next day and I was just seeing how his mind works, he’s dope. He has an old soul too.

I met Kenna through Keem, once he did the Tampa Beat weekend (2019), I felt that he maybe something serious. I performed that weekend and that was the biggest show I ever performed! It was such a good event, so many people had come out and it was just well executed. Soon after meeting up with Kenna, he started to tell me all the plans he had for me. Right then I was like I really like Kenna; I like the way he moves.

Are they your managers?

Keem is my manager and Kenna is my distribution manager.

Kenna is becoming a music mogul.

Yeah for real bro, it would be stupid for me if I didn’t have him as a partner.

So, when did you actually start making music and when did it get serious for you?

“I want to say 4 years ago and it got serious the moment I was in college. One day I was sitting in class and I was like, do I really need college? You know how you’re in college you and you can just walk out, and no one is going to stop you? I did just that, I walked out. Then that day forward I had a song called “Asshole” and I told myself if I re-did “asshole” it would go stupid and that’s exactly what happened.

So you went to Ohio and that was your first out of state performance, how was that?

Shit was pretty fun, like the whole wave was crazy. I was with my friends and we knew this was the start of it all. In my head I was like I don’t give a fuck how big or small it is. This is something big because there’s a lot of people that are doing music and can’t say that they’re getting paid to perform at an out of state college! So, I was realizing, shit is happening. This is the first step to being on my way to greatness. I wasn’t trying to get too excited, but I was still excited. I came on time and I was with my friends, it was just so fun.”

How did the crowd receive you?

The crowd was fun! I want to say about 1500 people came through. On top of that, it was crazy that they already knew my songs!

Woooow! now how did that feel to hear the crowd and just recite those lyrics?

I was just like what the fuck! It was just cool; it was just a great feeling. I felt welcomed, like I never left Tampa. Someone had called me up, yesterday and I heard someone in the studio just blasting’ “Asshole”.

Going back to where you said “fuck it” to school, what made you say I’m going to quit school and focus on the music?

I was in school and didn’t know what the fuck I wanted to do. I would be sitting in there in class like why am I here? What am I going for? So, at that moment I was like fuck it I’m going to just go hard in this music shit. You know What’s crazy? My family was behind me on it! They were like just do it.

Big Kaino

Were you like scared to even to tell them that?

Fuck no! I was prepared to live under a swing set. I rather do that than read two sentences in a book and forget what I read.

How do you feel about the Tampa scene right now?

I feel that a lot of people need a lot of self-reflecting to do. A lot of people need to take a deep look in a mirror and understand what they want. They don’t understand that if this is something they really want to do, think how they can do it and be better at it. A lot of these people are just too comfortable. The scene is too comfortable. They’ll do something and feel that they’re unbeatable but that’s not the case at all because there is someone in another state that’s sound like you that’s doing it better and that’s reality. I also think people here are doing it for the flex. I think most people in the underground are doing it for the wrong reasons instead of the right reasons.

Well speaking on doing it for wrong and right reasons, what’s your purpose in music? Why do you make music?

I do it because it’s really fun! To just make a song that Everyone can go crazy to and just cause some damage somewhere is fun to me. I really enjoy music and my taste in music is exquisite. I know I make hardcore crazy music, but my taste of music is very wide. Plus, when I hear myself, I’m like damn is that really me? Like that’s a crazy feeling. I asked myself did I just make this shit?! I surprise myself every time, and it’s just exciting.

Do you make your own beats?

Naw my hitmakers right now is Santiago Purp and Xan Maschino.

 Yo,Shout out to Santiago! What’s that chemistry like?

“It’s amazing, Purp is like my long-lost Mexican brother.”

So do you have a project coming out?

I’m going to keep it a full bean, I got a project. However, a project to me is like when I drop it, it’s like damn THAT’S A PROJECT. It’s just going to be completely different and I got high standards for it. It’s dropping next year and I’m just preparing it.

Is it going to be something that’s a bit more introspective where we get to know who Kaino is?

It’s the whole fucking package. There’s going to be fun music. Music that you can play at 5 A.M. in the morning where you just came from your pussy appointment. There’s going to be some crazy shit on there. I feel that I can attack the wide ranges of sound on my first project.

I know you said you have a wide range of music, who are you listening to that you fuck with heavy?

Right now for the most part, Lil’Keed. He’s the one that’s going crazy. I honestly play him too much, it’s getting scary. Key Glock is another one and of course Young Thug.

What’s some your dream collaborations? If you can, give me three from Florida and three from wherever else.

From Florida, Ski Mask the Slump God, Denzel Curry, and maybe SmokePurp. Now outside of Florida, Rico Nasty, Comethezine, and Key Glock

I’m surprised you didn’t say Chief Keef.

Oh, we’re going to be neighbors, I ain’t worried about that.

I’m not sure if I should ask you this but how’s the groupie love?

Hehehe, it’s funny. When I greet a girl now, I just shake her hand. I don’t even girls a chance to touch me. Most of the time, bitches just do out pocket shit to get my attention. I just know it’s going to get worst.

Actually since you been making music, do you know when someone is being genuine with you when they meet you?

I can tell when they’re being fake and genuine. When someone is genuine, they talk to you. They’ll check up on you and ask how you’re doing. You know it’s fake when they trying to get something out of me, you just feel it.

What’s the weirdest things you’ve witnessed so far since you’ve been making music?

Man, there’s a lot. (Sigh) shit they do is just out of pocket. Like the shit they do just to get from status that they’re currently at…like there’s different ways but you know you got to think long term like how is it going to look later?

They have no type of dignity…

Yeah and they’ll end up looking like Tekashi 69

What’s some your inspirations behind the music?

Um that’s a good one. My inspirations are vehicles sad to say. It just motivated me to go harder! As far as music go though, Key Glock. He’s like my spirit animal.

What’s some of the biggest things that you had to learn while doing music?

 There’s a million different ways to doing things, it’s never just one of way. You may have a simple idea or plan but there’s always multiple ways to doing things. Never put all your eggs into one basket because there’s a possibility you can get fucked over and lose a shit ton of money. I’ve done that before.

Now outside of music what are somethings you’re into right now?

As of right now, I’m really into video games.

Top 5, right now.

Call of Duty, Borderlands, I fuck with Red Dead Redemption, and I’m going to say Fortnite because I got too good at it. I fuck with Apex Legends too. It’s just very therapeutic to me.

I feel that, because that’s what I do to get mind off things, I would just go play the game. It’s like you step into another zone or another world.

Exactly. If I get ducked over in bills one day. I would just jump on game and just start clapping niggas.

Actually what’s the best Call of Duty to you?

Black Ops 3. I’m like a God on there.

Now let’s say you’re stuck on an island and you only had 3 movies to watch. What are those 3 movies?

John Wick, part one, part two and part three

Well Damn…

That nigga is amazing and he does his own stunts. *laughs* It’s like why is he doing all these men so dirty? I’m good with those three and I’ll watch it every time like I never seen them.

Now what’s some advice you would give to someone that’s following in the same footsteps as you?

Pay attention in what’s going on in music. What help me so much is how observant I am, I literally pay attention to everything. So, I feel that if you do that with something, you’re passionate about, there’s no doubt you’ll be great. Once you understand music, you’re an artist now. Try to learn as much as you can and try to master it at your best ability.

Another thing I want to say is before you do something, really think long and hard beforehand. Think about the many perspectives. Think ahead of time before you do it and be ready to learn because life is trial and error.

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